I haven’t blogged about zines in a while, but artist A.D. Puchalski sent me the four comics pictured below to review. Luckily I enjoyed them, so here I am, reviewing!
Puchalski’s drawings are a cut above what I’m used to from self-published comics, and the visual style reminds me of the illustrated children’s book Corgiville Fair. (That is a compliment.) The narratives are playful with a couple of brutal twists. Think, like, Disney stories updated for sardonic adults. Disney stories plotted by Weird Twitter.
Sword of Fray features two diabolically mischievous mythical creatures — a unicorn and a sort of feline yeti. Meadow takes place in a universe where medieval knights use cell phones in between battling dragons, and rogues definitely hit that sweet kush in their downtime. Restless features a little girl who falls in with a crowd of amiable-but-destructive monsters. Tough is probably the darkest of the bunch — think The Martian with a dash of My Little Pony or the pegasus bit from Fantasia.
Recommended if you like comics and any (or all) of the works I referenced.
The Tintin books are super racist, stuffed with offensive stereotypes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the parts of them that are heartwarming and hilarious. Krishnadev Calamur, a fellow Tintin aficionado, writes of the comics’ very obvious bigotry and his nevertheless unflagging enjoyment of them:
“There’s certainly irony in a child of the former colonies idolizing a character who might be dismissed by casual critics as a proxy for the white-man’s burden (and by more serious ones as a racist). But I couldn’t entirely disavow the series. What those comics taught me was that heroes, even boyish, never-aging ones like Tintin, are deeply flawed, and if you ruminate on something long enough, even a cherished childhood memory, you will inevitably see those flaws clearly. There were things that I loved about Tintin that made it easier to reject those things I did not — without ignoring them altogether.”
I traded zines with Felix Taylor (sagpunk on Tumblr) and he sent me Witches & Sick Glitches:
I really enjoyed this comic. I don’t want to give away too much about the story, but the plot involves shady websites, blood-dripping rituals, and subsequent mysterious occult happenings. Think Adventure Time meets Andromeda Klein in bold black-and-white. Not cheery Adventure Time, but one of the sinister episodes. I am excited to read the next installment of Witches & Sick Glitches!